Takehisa Kosugi

Musical Artist

1938 –


Who is Takehisa Kosugi?

Takehisa Kosugi is a Japanese composer and violinist associated with the Fluxus movement.

Kosugi studied musicology at the Tokyo University of the Arts and graduated in 1962.

Kosugi is probably best known for the experimental music that he created in 1960–75, first in the early 1960s with the Tokyo-based seven-member ensemble Group Ongaku and thereafter as a solo artist and with itinerant octet Taj Mahal Travellers. Kosugi's primary instrument is the violin, which he sends through various echo-chambers and effects to create a bizarre, jolting music quite at odds with the drones of other more well-known Fluxus artists, such as Tony Conrad, John Cale and Henry Flynt.

In 1963 Takehisa Kosugi composed for Fluxus 1 a musical piece called Theatre Music in the form of a rectangle of cardstock that bore the trace of a spiral of moving feet. This was paired with the instructions: "Keep walking intently".

Since 1978, Kosugi has served as music director for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, and lives in Osaka, Japan. His 1960s career with Group Ongaku is extensively explained in the 32-page essay "Experimental Japan," which appears in the book Japrocksampler, by author/musician/occultist Julian Cope. The book also features a detailed 12-page biography of Kosugi's Taj Mahal Travellers, the music of which Julian Cope describes as being "reminiscent of the creaking rigging of the un-manned Mary Celeste". According to Cope, Kosugi's finest work is the 1975 solo album Catch-wave.

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Also known as
  • Kosugi, Takehisa
  • Japan
  • Tokyo University of the Arts
Lived in
  • Tokyo

on July 23, 2013


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